Online reading comprehension software.
- 1+ million struggling readers helped.
- Research validated results.
Reading Comprehension Online
Programs For Literal & Inferential Comprehension
The task of reading comprehension software, developing higher level reading skills, is complicated. Reading comprehension requires a literal understanding and retention of content, thinking while reading and monitoring one's understanding. Here is how skilled readers think while reading:
- Understand the main idea, as distinct from supporting detail
- Monitor understanding of the sequence, context, or characters
- Clarify parts of the text which have confused them
- Connect the events in the text to prior knowledge or experience
Reading comprehension skills -- literal understanding and these critical thinking, metacognitive strategies -- require sound fundamentals. Many high schoolers decode inefficiently, making it difficult for them to improve reading comprehension, particularly incorporating these metacognitive strategies into their reading.
How We Improve Reading Comprehension
Improving reading comprehension is a process. Our online reading comprehension software, Fast ForWord, changes the reading dynamic, first with cognitive skills training that treats underlying reading difficulties, then with programs using natural learning techniques to improve reading fluency by automating decoding and building familiarity with language structure, spelling and vocabulary knowledge, and finally, by developing reading comprehension skills.
This is a robust approach, built around a strong foundation, that will allow the student to handle the increasing complexity of content as he/she moves up through the grades.
Reading programs overview
Gemm Learning draws from the 50+ exercises in eleven different Fast ForWord reading programs to design a customized sequence of exercises to help your child acquire these reading comprehension skills. While each Fast ForWord program has a primary focus at one pyramid level, there are processing, vocabulary and other reading skills that carry throughout, and the reading comprehension programs, in sequence, build towards reading with metacognition, the top of the reading skills pyramid.
Familiarity with Language
Listening and reading comprehension require knowledge of the tiny nuances of language, where small differences, such as placement of a pronoun, can change meaning. Most children gain familiarity with language -- vocabulary, syntax, grammar, inferences -- in early life as crystal clear auditory processing enables them to learn the language by absorbing what they hear. This natural learning is not available to children with processing delays. They are too occupied with making sense of the words they hear, and their literal meaning, semantics, to have the capacity to observe structure and deeper language familiarity.
This lack of language familiarity and dexterity, sometimes also called metalinguistics, is one of the hurdles a struggling reader must overcome in developing reading comprehension skills.
While the cognitive training phase of our program helps develop this important natural learning skill, the ability to absorb by listening, it cannot make up for years of imperfect listening. And so, one goal of our reading comprehension software is to remediate any language knowledge deficits, by working on two major aspects of language: vocabulary and language structure, including syntax, spelling and grammar.
Thinking While Reading
Accomplished readers think while they read. They are constantly comparing the text to their understanding of the world. For most struggling readers, this is difficult -- they have a hard enough time just reading the text.
Fast ForWord helps thinking while reading, using a range of analytical reading comprehension exercises: categorization, matching pictures to text descriptions, sentence and paragraph completion, and organizing sentences correctly based on the narrative structure's content. These tasks require multi-tasking, reading and thinking. Confronted with this challenge, students learn to automate decoding, to push it down to a subconscious task, so that the mind can more fully focus on the analytical task. There is no more important reading skill than effectively thinking while reading.
Skilled reading takes a lot of practice, and this takes reading stamina. Our reading comprehension programs develop reading stamina by:
- Making reading easier, and less exhausting. Our cognitive programs automate decoding so that reading does not require concentration on decoding and understanding -- this makes reading less exhausting, and easier to do for longer periods.
- Improving reading comprehension. An ability to follow the story while reading makes the text more interesting and engaging, even enjoyable.
- Building reading speed. Our programs reduce the need to re-read text, and improve sounding out and vocabulary skills, reducing the kinds of reading road blocks that can slow reading down. Better progress through the text makes engagement easier.
Fast ForWord also works on cognitive skills, most notably selective attention and sequencing, that directly develop reading stamina. A primary goal for our reading programs for children is to enable daily reading where students learn how to improve reading comprehension through practice, by putting in the reading miles.
The final step to mastering reading is metacognition, the ability to read critically and self-correct as you go. Once a student has started reading a text, the reader should be able to confirm, modify, or refine their understanding of the main idea, and distinguish the main idea in a paragraph or essay from supporting detail or other components. Many high school students, especially those struggling with basic decoding skills, do not develop metacognitive reading strategies, and so do not become skilled readers.
Metacognitive reading comprehension strategies require years of practice to master. This long learning curve, that occurs only after a student has acquired sound reading comprehension skills, is a compelling reason to act promptly and aggressively to help your child if he/she is an at-risk reader.
Online programs to build reading comprehension with metacognition
These reading comprehension skills require sound decoding fundamentals and consistent practice. They can only be learned properly if your child reads actively and regularly. Our online reading comprehension programs help improve foundational skills, so that the practicing can start. To find out if we can help, call now -- we are available 9AM to 6PM EST Monday to Friday -- or complete this simple request for a free consult outside these hours.
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